NaNo 2012, post 3, 8 days left!

24 Oct

Not a lot of posts this year before NaNo I guess… Doesn’t mean I’m not working or stressing though 🙂 I’ve send of the Black Sheep manuscript to an editor and did work for uni, but that is not what I’m talking about today. Today is about my outlining method and how I visualise my chapters and work.


This post compliments well with my 2 posts from last year, Post 4 and Post 6. That talk about my outlining method and other things.


So, where am I now? I’m around the 3rd and 4th picture of my Paperwaste method (Post 4). I have a couple of scenes written down and sort of planned where I’m going. They are all on different loose leave papers. I also did half of the Create a Character clinic from Holly Lisle (link at the bottom).

So usually when I’m at this stage I start also making a large paper to have a better oversight on what I’m doing. I’m doing a different one from last year (as seen in Post 6), but the idea is the same.


I divide the total amount of words by the amount of words I want in a chapter (or the amount of chapters you want in total, depending on how you work). Last year I did 1.000 words per chapter and had a total of 50 chapters planned, but as I was writing I found out I already ended the story at 44 chapters.

So this year I do 1.250 words per chapter. This also goes better with my uni work of 2.500 word piece of a story. So I have a total of 40 chapters, which is close to where I got last year. Which is good.

I then spread those out on the paper so I can keep track of where I am and so I can see how my story works as a total.


So, how do I make a wall outline? Well, like this:



– paper

– marker or marker pen (as long as it’s easily visible and thicker than a pen)

– ruler

– Adhesive tape (I use the matte see through type)

– scizzors

– pens

– amount of chapters you need written down somewhere

– last but not least, a wall:



1. Choose how big you’ll make the large sheet of paper. I choose 4 by 2 pieces of A4 paper. 4 wide, 2 high, so I have 12.500 words in each column.

I work on one side and stick them together like this:

I first tape the outer edges together, keeping it aligned and as flat as possible.


When I have everything in place like this.


I then tape all the cracks. So that I can use the sheet as one sheet, without having to worry about my pen getting caught in the edges.


2. I then flip over the paper and divide the paper into sections. 4 columns with 10 chapters each, which is 5 chapters per character in each column.


I then put the word counts of each column at the bottom.


3. I divide the columns into different sections. Each section holds 2 chapters, one for each character. This was I can be sure I explore different things with both my characters and won’t have everything come from only 1 of the characters and have the other one lag behind.



The text you see in it is from this article: Writing the Romance Novel – Seven story beats


4. Put it up on the wall.



Yep it is that simple. Okay, I’m cheating a little. I still need to put in the story elements that I’ve got.

Here is a picture with some of my notes that will be put onto the page:



But it will get quite full with notes once I’ve got my official outline finished.


The pros of doing this are endless. You can make sure each character has enough story, you can be sure that you have enough story to begin with, you can keep track of separate story lines.
The con if it? there is a lot of paper involved…


After his step I usually put it into the computer and print out another story outline which is focused more on the smaller parts and the scenes in each chapter (see Part 4).


Okay, enough for today. I’m gonna get some more planning done!


Tip for the day: Holly Lisle’s website

Holly Lisle has amazing stuff to work with. Her website is full of articles on outlining, fantasy elements and all sorts of other stuff that can help, no matter the genre you write, check it out!

Right now I’m working through her “Create a Character clinic” on my kindle, and though different from how I normally work, it’s great!


Write on!



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Posted by on October 24, 2012 in NaNoWriMo, writing


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